Auction houses in London start selling as much as 55 million pounds ($90 million) of Russian art today, hoping that spending by billionaires will help the market further recover after a year of decline.
Sotheby’s sells 19th-century and early 20th-century paintings this evening, followed by another sale tomorrow. Christie’s International holds auctions on Dec. 1, 2 and 3. MacDougall’s, an auction house specializing in Russian art, has sales on Dec. 2 and 3. Bonhams also holds a 168-lot sale today.
In a sign that wealthy Russians are returning to the market, Sotheby’s in New York sold $13.8 million of Russian art on Nov. 2, beating the top presale estimate of $9 million. The Russian government forecasts some economic growth in 2010, after the country’s economy shrank about 10 per cent in 2009’S first half as prices declined for commodities such as oil.
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